From soggy trek to beach adventure with teens

Posted on February 16th, 2018 - Anya

I love the beach as much in winter as I do in summer. It is less crowded, parking is easy and it always gives me a sense of being on holiday whether I am sunbathing or wrapped up exploring. The lead up to the Christmas holidays leaves me short of time and dreaming of time off with the kids at the beach. Thankfully I found that free afternoon and it became a wonderful impromptu beach adventure with my triplet teens.

From Soggy Trek to Beach Adventure with Teens

Hardy winter beach folk  

The sun was shining when we left but Cornwall can be very changeable and even though it was only a 15 minute car ride, as we parked up the drizzle began. I was determined not to let this stop us now that I had found the time and the kids had downed technology and were keen for an adventure. The path to the beach crosses fields that were boggy and slippery, this didn’t stop the kids passing a football between them all the way and nearly losing it on several occasions.

Coastpath football

Slipping and sliding along the coast path

I was questioning my decision as the wind and rain picked up, but it had become a badge of honour now to reach the beach and we forged onwards despite soggy feet and muddy trousers from falling.

slipping along the coastpath

A Stunning coastline

Standing and watching the towering cliffs through the misty air was quite breathtaking.

Cliff edge at Tregardock Beach

Fun on a winter beach

The kids clambered down the rocks in no time at all while I carefully picked my way through feeling my age. Once down, the sand is soft and golden interspersed with huge rocky outcrops. I had firelighters and matches with me to look for driftwood and light a fire as we had done in the past, however the rain was making everything too wet and the tide was coming in fast so we made the most of our time just being carefree on the sand and jumping off the rocks.

Danger of tidal beaches

I am always wary of an incoming tide as it can cut off the route back to the steps up to the coast path so quickly. When the waves crept in to within a couple of feet of the path we headed back up the rocks to the safety of the steps.

Retreating from the in coming tide at Tregardock beach

Teen gossip & hot chocolate

The kids knew I had a flask of hot chocolate and bag of donuts in my rucksack and were determined to enjoy them outside and not back at the car so we found a large rock back on the path with a bit of an overhang to shelter us from the rain and sat there together sharing our impromptu snack.

Beach snacks in the rain

We must have sat there a good 20 minutes laughing about silly family moment’s together and school gossip. The rain didn’t stop play at all, though we agreed to return when the tide was further out and the conditions drier for the campfire we didn’t manage.  

From soggy trek to beach adventure with teens


Country Kids

Active Wear for Active Teens

Posted on February 9th, 2018 - Anya

As children grow and develop into adults, the need to stay active is just as great as when they were young. Somehow when they were little it was easier, I made up the rules, decided when they would have their coats on and go out to play, where we would go and what we would do. I was in control of their activities. Now with eight teenagers life is different. Having the trendy active wear is almost as important to them as being outdoors and there is always competing pressure from social media indoors! That said I am such a firm believer in the power of outdoor time and exercise I will go to great lengths to make sure it happens. Whether it is one to one time with me, sports through clubs or out with friends on the farm, outdoor time is a release from school work and technology and if having the right look promotes this then I’ll do with the flow. When JD Williams clothing asked if we wanted to have a look at some of their womenswear sports and leisure active wear I knew Clio and I would be fighting over who would get to choose. Clio won but as her choices fit me too there may be some sharing!  

Active Wear for Active Teens from J D Williams

Hitting the beach in style

We hit the beach on a stunning bright January day. The boys were surfing but we’d opted out due to the cold. Not that it was cold at all when you have an empty beach at your fingertips and some new stretchy Puma sports leggings in which to practice the latest gymnastic moves. If only my bum looked this good in leggings I’d buy them too!  Clio says it’s all in the lovely thick waistband on the leggings, I’d say she is selling herself short.



By the time I’d raced around the beach after Clio, trying and failing to copy her leaps and jumps we were both warm and warn out!


Time after school at last

Finally the days are drawing out and there is enough daylight after school for some outdoor fun. This past week has been bitterly cold with our first flurry of snow, frost and hail but there is no telling teens to dress up warm. You’d think I’d suggested flying to the moon if I mention taking a coat to school with them! In this vain it was no surprise to me that Clio came bounding round the farm with me in a crop top, leggings and new womenswear size 8/10 Nike hoodie just unwrapped from JD Williams. I dismissed the lack of coat just glad of her company and energy on a bleak mid winter afternoon.



 We set off just to chat and wander and ended up out for nearly 2 hours which did us both the world of good. We checked for frogspawn in the streams, visited the animals and jumped across streams as time ran away. Nature’s obstacles became a ballet or gym opportunity for Clio at every turn.

Perhaps the best news to me is that this womens Nike hoodie hits the mark where any school coat I’ve bought has failed. Apparently this is the perfect coat substitute, thank goodness it has more warmth than her school jumper, a big hood against the wind, deep pockets inside for her phone and outside for her hands, because of course gloves are so yesterday! 


Nike Hoodie worn as school outerwear


There are so many brands and choices over on the site you could easily kit out all the family and your home just from this one website. Take a peek if you dare, I’m eyeing up a couple of dresses as well as borrowing Clio’s new leggings and hoodie for our on site gym!  


D Williams sport and leaiturewear for women at Coombe Mill



We were kindly invited to choose from the JD Williams active wear range for women to create this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Country Kids

Horse Racing at Wadebridge Showground

Posted on February 2nd, 2018 - Anya

Every family begins to build up its own traditions over the Christmas holidays and we are no exception. I spoke last weekend about our local weekend away for family time and Christmas shopping together. This week I’m sharing another of our favourite winter holiday activities, watching the horse racing. Our local showground is Wadebridge, just 20 minutes from us and where the kids go to school. It is home to the Royal Cornwall show in summer and a whole host of other events throughout the year. The Christmas point to point is one we have attended for the past 3 years and it is always a fun day and surprisingly good value for money, if the bets go your way!  


Horse racing at Wadebridge Showground


Coombe Mill is in the most beautiful sheltered valley and the Royal Cornwall show ground is on the top of an exposed hill, well I don’t know how old you need to be to understand that the temperature will be vastly different, but no amount of telling the triplets to wrap up warm would work. We gave up and just threw a few extra jumpers and jackets of ours in the car for good measure. Sure enough they were frozen by the biting wind in seconds and piling on the layers from the car! Thankfully placing bets takes place in the big barns which is sheltered from the elements.


Placing bets at horse racing


Despite being farmers, we know nothing about horse racing and place our bets with a team vote over a name we like and a hunch on watching the horses in the parade ring


Parage ring at the Wadebridge showground horse racing in winter


For the first three races we felt like we should have been offered a bet on the losing horse, as it always seemed to be ours despite our braving the cold on the side lines and cheering. But finally our moment came in race four and Guy’s choice of horse came in first. We only had a £5 bet on each race to win but that one £30 win was enough to have us break even on the day.


Guy and Farmer Nick couldn’t have looked more delighted, you’d think they’d won a fortune!


Proud winners at Wadebridge Races


We put our winnings to good use rewarding ourselves with some excellent pasties and coffee against the cold.


Pasty Treat at the Horse Racing


There are always some lovely outdoor clothing and craft stalls to wander round between races too and I found myself picking up a couple of lovely unexpected presents there.


Exploring the craft stalls at the Wadebridge races


Our last race was a maiden race and we hedged our bets with an each way bet. Lucky we did as our horse came in second and paid out again. We left in high spirits despite the biting cold wind and headed home to warm up and enjoy the roast I had on low it the oven.   


Wadebridge Races Family Selfie


We certainly won’t be put off another flutter on the horses in future.



Helpful hints for winter horse racing at Wadebridge:

Entry is just £10 for adults on entry. Under 16’s go free
Fixtures for the year are online
Pasties, tea, coffee and cakes are all very reasonably prices and piping hot.
Our local moorland village pub host the bar for those wanting something stronger.
Limit your bets to just a fun amount per race and you won’t spend a fortune and may even come out in profit.

Keep your car wheels on the tarmac in the wet as the field parking gets very churned up

Wrap up warm as the wind up on the showground can be wicked.




Country Kids

Our Pre Christmas Family Tradition

Posted on January 26th, 2018 - Anya

I’m back tracking in Country Kids this week to where Christmas begins for us way back in early December. Don’t you just love a good family tradition? Well our pre Christmas treat is a weekend away in Devon at the hotel Nick and I went to on Honeymoon back in 1995. It used to just be Nick and I, but for the last 3 years, as they kids have grown up, we take the whole family and we all look forward to it each year. The kids adore all the sports, I love seeing them together and having 2 days with no cooking!


Our Pre Christmas Family Tradition


It may only be 2 nights but we really pack in so much. The Hotel is situated just a short walk from the sea and I couldn’t resist an evening walk down there to watch the sun set when we arrived while the kids and Nick hit all the sports on offer. I only just made it but at the end of a glorious winter’s day it was simply stunning. So much so I actually dedicated a post to the scene that week.


Anyone for golf?

Golf is Farmer Nick’s big passion outside of the farm and the reason he choose this hotel for us all those years ago. The little 9 hole course is really challenging with trees, bunkers and ponds to catch you out. In all the years I have played, my game is still woeful, but my teens can hit a mighty dive and really seemed to be enjoying playing this year.


Family golf

Tennis championship in progress

Golf was interspersed with Tennis out on the enclosed courts. The triplets had an advantage here after playing at a friend’s house back in the summer.

Holiday tennis

A stroll around the grounds

The grounds themselves are beautiful and the last of the leaves were still clinging on despite it being December giving a lovely backdrop to stroll with Clio

The outdoor pool was closed for winter but the kids spent hours in the indoor pool and over at the badminton courts. They have all been in the Badminton club at school and we had hours of tournaments interspersed with a few squash games.


Christmas Market

With so much to do right at the hotel it was hard to persuade anyone to leave. However the older 3 came with us to the local estuary town of Kingsbridge for a little shopping in the festive Christmas market up the high street, I’m not sure their shopping went much further than street food though!  

Christmas Street Market

A Family Tradition to remember  

Both Nick and I had a stinking cold while we were there but even that couldn’t detract from a weekend that gave us so much pleasure. The huge hole in our wallet was worth every penny to see our 6 growing teens having the most fun time together. Listening to the banter, seeing them all dressed up for dinner and watching their competitive spirit tampered by a caring concern for one another was the biggest Christmas present of all for me. What more does any parent want?   

Our Pre Christmas Family Tradition

Country Kids

Hello January Sunshine

Posted on January 13th, 2018 - Anya

I have to be honest, I don’t like January. There we are I’ve said it. Well until this a January anyway. We had the wettest and mildest Christmas and New Year for some time, it was fine for getting out and we were in the sea loads, but I missed cold crisp days and sunshine. Then along came January. The sunny days hit me like a breath of fresh air. We couldn’t wait to visit the beach, but instead of diving into the sea to escape the rain we have enjoyed the dry air of the beach, the coast path and the stunning scenery of the North Cornwall Coast.  Last Sunday was so crystal clear that even with just my phone the photo quality is passable.  Hello January sunshine, I hope you are going to hang around!


Clio soaking up the January Sunshine on the rocks at Polzeath


Clio on the rocks at Polzeath


Trying and failing to spot Alistair who was in the sea surfing without getting wet feet myself.


January sunshine on a deserted beach


Guy marooned on a desert island – or rock surrounded by the incoming tide.


Guy on the rocks as a beach silhouette



You never know when in the year the good weather will come, but when it does the farm, the beaches and the moorlands of Cornwall are simply stunning. With February half term and Easter on the horizon do gives us a thought in your holiday plans.  There is always plenty to do here whatever the weather brings and Polzeath beach featured here is under 1/2 an hour by car.  

Have you taken advantage of the January sunshine? 

Country Kids